Janet Protasiewicz, Dan Kelly in spotlight for battleground state's swing seat.

Byline: Steve Schuster, sschuster@dailyreporter.com

Wisconsin has once again very quickly advanced to the center of the national political stage with all eyes on the April 4 election for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices.

It's no secret that the outcome of Wisconsin's April Supreme Court election will have widespread national implications. Wisconsinites are anticipating that the state Supreme Court justices will be faced with decisions that will have a profound impact extending well beyond Wisconsin's borders, especially given the fact that Wisconsin will once again be a battleground state for the 2024 presidential election. The opening 2024 Republican presidential debate will be hosted in Milwaukee in August, the Republican National Committee announced on Feb. 23. Suffice it to say, both candidates agree that the open swing seat on Wisconsin's highest court is valuable real estate.

"The winner will determine the balance of the court," said Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, who is running for the swing state Supreme Court seat.

The issues that are expected to face the Wisconsin Supreme Court include many aspects of Democracy, including voter rights. Abortion, education and the environment are also topics expected to be addressed by the court. Those who support liberal and right-wing candidates have been raising concerns over the erosion of our Democracy.

On the right-wing side, Eric Toney, Fond Du Lac County district attorney, said he is concerned that a left-leaning candidate would not preserve the rule of law and would let personal biases influence decisions for the rest of the state.

"We want judges that will make decisions based on the law and the facts, not their own personal values," said Toney said during an interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Kelly agreed and explained how in his mind, his views differ from that of his opponent.

"The key to the rule of law is that we all know what is required for us, this is why the Legislature develops the law. The rule of Janet means you'll never know what the standard is. You can only know in in hindsight," Kelly said.

"If someone like Janet gets on the Supreme Court and starts substituting her personal will for that of the constitution, the constitution falls," Kelly added. " If Janet puts herself above that then all of the liberties that our constitution protects are all at risk, and I'm talking about fundamental things like speech, press, religion and the right to keep and bear arms, the right to hunt and fish and on and on down the line then what you get is whatever Janet is allowing you to have. What we are facing is the question whether the court is going to continue to be a court. Or if it instead will be an instrument by which a couple of lawyers in a Madison courtroom will dictate policy to all of Wisconsin.

" This is going to be an election like no other because my opponent is a candidate like no other. She has made it clear if she makes it to the Supreme Court she is going to set herself above the law. What we will have is not the rule of law, but the rule of Janet. She's even promised to put her thumb on the scales of justice to make sure they are decided in ways...

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